John Adams and Cicero: From Inspiration to Confidant Open Access

Hanson, Ashley Michelle (2010)

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John Adams and Cicero: From Inspiration to Confidant
By Ashley M. Hanson
This Thesis asks to what extent did a classical influence exist during
America's earliest days. The scope of this thesis is narrowed by looking at the
unique relationship between a founding father of America and a great orator of
antiquity. The two men used for the comparison are John Adams and Marcus
Tul ius Cicero. The central idea of this thesis is that John Adams looked to
Cicero in times of uncertainty. The friendship that Adams establishes between
him in Cicero takes place continuously over his lifetime. While other historians
have compared Adams to Cicero at distinct moments in his life, this thesis wil
show that Adams chose Cicero to be an inspiration, companion, and source of
solace at many times during his life. The argument traces the progression of the
friendship from Adams's earliest days as student, through his professional life,
and into his retirement. Special care has been taken to emphasize primary
resources. Most examples come directly from John Adams's diary,
autobiography and letters. Cicero's speeches are also used to help establish the
connection between these two men as well.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Intro Pg.8

Chapter One

Cicero: A First Friend in Uncertainty Pg. 15

Chapter Two

Adams and Cicero: Partners at Law Pg. 27

Chapter Three

Marcus Tullius Cicero: A Source of Solace Pg. 42

Conclusion Pg. 51

About this Honors Thesis

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